Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eastman Research


One of my favorite pastimes is to take a second look at some favorite ancestors or relatives.  I live in Lewiston, ID and have not had too many opportunities to study most of my ancestry first hand nor do I have the availability of a world class genealogical library to reference.  What I do have is a computer and the persistence of searching for information and an eye for what is good info…and what isn’t.
Back around 2000, I discovered one of my favorite characters in all of my genealogical research, Susanna Eastman. Susanna is my 8th great grandmother…here is my lineage.

  • Susanna Eastman m. John Swan
  • Nathaniel Swan m. Mahitabel Brown
  • Jesse Swan m. Elizabeth Baldwin
  • Nathaniel Swan m. Harriet Shutter
  • Cynthia Swan m. Potter Gage
  • Gilbert Gage m. Phebe Allen
  • Orlando Gage m. Edith Gallup
  • Ora Silas Gage m. Florence Christine Shawver
  • Helen Gage m. Frank Johnson
  • Eugene Johnson m. Betty Tannahill
  • Me!


Now Susanna lived a long and interesting life.  As a young woman she married Thomas Wood and had a daughter with him.  Both he and her child were killed in an Indian attack in 1697.  Susanna remarried in 1699 to John Swan.  They had 7 children including my ancestor, Nathaniel.  In the history of Haverhill, MA there is a story about an attack that was made on her and John Swan’s home.  They were pushing against the door and had started to enter the home when Susanna skewered them with the baking spit.  In the History and Genealogy of the Eastman Family of America there is also the story of when Susanna and John moved to Connecticut.  Susannah put her young son down in a basket and told her husband that the basket needed to be loaded onto the wagon.   Sometime later (about 2 miles down the road) it was discovered that the baby had been left behind.  I imagine the 2 mile return trip to retrieve the sleeping child had to be a difficult one for both parents with the father getting the majority of the dirty looks.  Susanna lived to be 100 years old which is pretty remarkable.  She was born about 1673 and died in 1772 – right on the cusp of the Revolutionary War.

So…every once in a while I do a search on family members.  Sometimes I don’t have their full dates or perhaps I don’t have the maiden name of the mother.  There is new information that is being put on the Internet all of the time and more and more primary documents that have been posted.  In addition there are also old genealogy books that are posted.  So, when I did a search on Susanna Eastman tonight I found some additional information. 



You can also spend some time looking at different websites that might have information.  This whole process can be time consuming but also very rewarding.  So – occasionally sit down at the computer and go to your favorite search engine and see what you can find.  You might find something new like a photo of the grave or new cousin.  This can be truly a rewarding experience!